How to give your patio a makeover

April 5, 2022 Outdoor Living, Patio Design

Feeling limited by your outdoor space? Even a small patio can have grand appeal with a few simple updates. 

Transform your outdoor design with these small patio makeover ideas that work for any budget.

Comfy seating and couches and statement rug

Add a Statement Rug

If you’re feeling a little shy about daring design choices, try an outdoor rug to make a statement. Bold colors or patterns add an eye-catching anchor to classic patio furniture pieces. 

Fireplace

Bring on the Comfy Seating

Another simple way to add visual interest is with comfy seating. Arrange benches, chairs, or even swinging chairs in a way that makes it easy for guests to engage.

Increase the lounge factor with plush cushions and pillows. Layer different sizes, colors, or patterns for eye-catching, functional appeal. 

Outdoor fireplace and covered patio

Warm it Up

Maximize time spent on your patio with a fire feature. An outdoor fireplace or fire pit adds functional touch and ambiance on cooler nights.

Incorporate a Water Feature

A fountain is another way to add to the outdoor ambiance. Imagine enjoying your favorite book with the calming sound of water.  

Add Some Greenery

Brighten up your backyard with plants or flowers. Choose large plants for a more decorative look. Or try a vertical container with herbs for more practical gardening.

Not only will plants and flowers give your space a vibrant new look, but they can also be a functional touch. For example, some plants like lavender and lemongrass repel bugs and mosquitos.

Use What You Already Have

Save money on your patio update by reimagining the items you already have. For example, repaint an old table for a fresh look, or turn a bookshelf into a bar cart.  

Even small accessories like vases can have a new life in your outdoor living space.


Need help with your patio makeover? Give one of our outdoor-living specialists a call at 281-265-1994 in Houston or 972-915-2727 in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Outdoor Fireplace vs. Outdoor Fire Pit

March 28, 2022 Outdoor Living, Outdoor Safety, Patio Design

An outdoor fireplace or fire pit is an eye-catching, functional addition to your outdoor design. A fire feature adds warmth and ambiance and can act as a point of engagement for guests.

While fireplace and fire pit structures add similar appeal, they have some key differences. These distinctions play apart in deciding which one is right for your outdoor living space.

Ask yourself these questions to determine whether an outdoor fireplace or a fire pit is right for you.

Pool House Fireplace

How much space do you have?

A fireplace is probably the better option if limited space is a concern. They are usually smaller and can be built on the edge of a patio to take up minimal space. 

A fire pit may require about 150 to 200 sq. ft. So if space is limited, a fire pit may not be ideal.

Outdoor Fire Pit

How do you plan to use your fire feature?

Desired experience is a key factor. Do you envision a group of guests sitting around the fire chatting? Or is warmth and ambiance the goal?

Fire pits are usually round, square or rectangular, making them ideal to sit around. They can act as a casual gathering and interaction point.

On the other hand, a fireplace offers space for a couple of people to sit in front. You may find that a fireplace creates a more elegant atmosphere or a focal point in your outdoor design.    

Do you live in a windy area?

Climate is another factor to consider. Do you live in a windy area?

Fire pits tend to produce a lot of smoke. Due to the unpredictability of winds, you can run into the issue of smoke blown in an undesirable direction. 

Whereas, fireplaces are built with a chimney to carry smoke away from the house. You can also use your fireplace on rainy days if your patio is covered.

Brick Fireplace

Are you looking for wood burning or gas?

With both fire pits and fireplaces, you have the option of wood burning or gas. 

With wood burning, you get that nice warmth, crackle and smokiness—almost like you’re sitting beside a campfire. However, there’s a bit more effort required in building and lighting the fire, and there are limitations on the style. Wood-burning options must be built using masonry with certain fire codes met for chimney height and distance from structure.

Gas, on the other hand, starts instantly, and there’s virtually no clean-up. There’s also more versatility when it comes to styling as you can add decorative fyre glass or lava rock. 

Cost of Installation

Going with a wood burning option can be good for your budget. Gas requires running a gas line, which can increase the cost.

Whether you go with wood or gas, an outdoor fire pit installation generally comes with a lower price tag. However, outdoor fireplaces generally increase your home resale value. 

In addition to the financial costs, a fire pit may require more cleanup and maintenance depending on the type and how it’s installed.  

With careful consideration, the right fire feature can add practicality and style to your outdoor living space. 



Our experts are here to help you make the decision easier. Give one of our outdoor-living specialists a call at 281-265-1994 in Houston, or 972-915-2727 in Dallas/Fort Worth.

How to Determine Your Outdoor Style

March 21, 2022 Outdoor Living, Patio Design

Are you in the process of designing your patio space but not sure how to determine your outdoor style? Like planning your interior, your exterior design takes a little time and consideration. Here are some tips for finding inspiration for your dream outdoor living space.

Bring Indoors Outdoors

One of the simplest ways to help define your outdoor style is to consider your current interior style. After all, your outdoor living space is an extension of your indoor living. 

Your outdoor space can be an opportunity to experiment and combine fresh, new design elements with your existing style. 

Create an Inspiration Board

Gather your favorite design ideas from sites like Pinterest or Houzz. You can even use magazines for inspiration. 

Do you notice a pattern in which outdoor style grabs your attention most? Note which aspects catch your eye.

Keep an Open Mind

Don’t be afraid to combine style elements. It’s a good idea to have a primary design theme. But stay flexible with accessories or accent items. 

For example, maybe you’re most drawn to a midcentury look. A more traditional outdoor rug may add a pop of color or texture.

Consider Function

How will you use your outdoor living space? Do you envision yourself hosting laidback summer dinners around a large patio table? Or maybe you see yourself lounging under your covered patio while watching the kids play. 

Make a list of how you plan to utilize your outdoor living space. You may find that some design styles provide better functionality for your vision. 

Define Your Outdoor Style

Now that you know where to start in determining your outdoor design style let’s explore some of the more popular styles. 

Mid-century Modern Pool House

Mid-century Modern

Marked by clean lines, this style emphasizes natural elements and space. A mid-century modern design can help facilitate a seamless continuation to your outdoor living space.

Traditional Patio

Traditional

Keep things classic yet comfortable with a more traditional design. This style works well for more functional, family-friendly outdoor living spaces.

Transitional Pool and Patio

Transitional

A blend of modern and traditional styles, transitional design can keep a space looking classic while also making it feel decidedly current. Because of its versatility and wide appeal, it’s currently one of the most popular styles in outdoor living.

Rustic Patio and Outdoor Kitchen

Rustic

Rustic design highlights natural, organic elements for a more relaxed, organic feel.  

Modern Farmhouse Outdoor Living Room

Modern Farmhouse

Modern farmhouse has grown in popularity over the last several years. It combines some of the comfort and natural elements of rustic design with contemporary or modern touches.  

Check out some of our custom patios designs here.

Making Your Patio Furniture Last Longer

September 30, 2021 Outdoor Living

Texas weather can be brutal on your outdoor furniture, from Houston humidity to the Dallas sun, keeping your furniture looking nice can be tough. We have some tips and tricks to try, so that you can feel good about investing in your outdoor style.

Let’s start with buying the furniture, don’t fall for the cheap stuff, you will only need to replace it every season. By investing in nicely-made and designed furniture and taking care of it, you will save you money in the long run! By spending a little extra money at the beginning, you will save your money (and time) and end up with something more comfortable and most likely require less maintenance and repair.

As we cannonball into our tips, you must know that different material requires different levels of after-care. Aluminum for example, is not great for H-town because of the moisture that is in the air. Humidity… great for our skin, not for our furniture. But Teak on the other hand, holds up a little nicer.

A Crowd Pleaser … TEAK

We will start with an easier one to manage. Teak is a go-to material for outdoor furniture of all kinds, from side tables to dinner tables, benches to couches. This durable; water-, pest- and rot-resistant wood gets a bad wrap for it’s high price tag, but a solid piece of teak furniture will have minor shrinkage and will weather beautifully.

Taking care of it is even easier, you can almost set it and forget it. Leave it alone through cold winters and hot summers alike. Just be sure NOT to cover it in wet climates: direct exposure to rain and and random snow flurries is fine, but covering it while the wood is wet can actually do more damage than good by creating a space for mold to grow. 

To keep the grime away, simply wipe it down with a teak furniture cleaner a few times a month, this will keep it looking new and of course help it last longer!

Minimal Maintenance – Man-Made Wicker Style

The “wicker vibe” is all the rage, but the man-made version as opposed to its natural rattan counterpart is much easier to maintain and more affordable, too! The man-made version is built to resist elements and deterioration. It’s lightweight, so super easy to move around. If you’re one to move things around a lot, to get a different feel in your own home, this style of furniture is for you!

This type of furniture does well in any climate, it’s flexible, yet strong! Ready for the best part? To clean it, all you have to do is hose it down, crack open a cold one and call it day!

A+ For Aluminum

In the beginning we talked about the down side to aluminum, but it does have an upside, especially if you’re a “Do It Yourselfer.” If you enjoy DIY projects, this metal furniture can serve as a blank canvas to paint any color of the rainbow. Many outdoor paints are powder-coated and have UV inhibitors to help minimize damage from the sun. Repainting is always easy and can serve as a fun weekend project, so change it up as often as you would like.

So it’s light, it’s stylish, but is it easy to clean? The answer is, YES! Just a little soapy water and a little rub down and you’re back in business.

A Concrete Choice

Concrete tables, chairs and benches have become increasingly popular in the last five years because of its blend-ability and contemporary look. It’s heavy, but durable!

Because concrete is so porous, you will want to place a sealant on it to prevent damage from spills and stains. If you forgo this step, expect some beer can rings and marks that will last longer than the memories made there.

To clean this rock-hard furniture, wipe it down with a damp cloth and let air dry. If there are some deeper stains on the untreated parts, use a soft brush, some soapy water and a little elbow grease to lift the stain. Wear and tear due to weather won’t be an issue for concrete furniture.

Patio furniture is meant for a good time, but it can last a long time too, you just need to take care of it!

Can We Build Your Style? Yes, We Can!

July 31, 2021 Outdoor Living, Patio Design

We aren’t just a one-style builder.  Adding your personal flare to your outdoor space is what it’s all about.  We do build to look original to your home, but there are always details that can be added to enhance the style you are looking for.  Putting little twists can transform the look of an area, it doesn’t have to be a major overhaul. 

Just a few examples…

French Country – add a little window box, shiplap or even a chandelier

Mid-century Modern – incorporate clean and simple lines

Rustic – add beautiful cedar beams

Hill Country – include rock and stone finishes

There are so many ways TCP can help you get the look you want with the right details and material selections.  

Here’s a small example of the different styles of projects we have done in the past:

More completed projects can be found on our Houzz page, click here!  

And while we are planning …

You want to know how soon you’ll be able to enjoy your new outdoor style life?  Use the handy guide below to know when your custom patio project needs to begin in order to be completed by these commonly requested dates. Factors such as material supplies and weather prevent us from guaranteeing completion dates, but we understand your desire for having projects completed for the important elements of your outdoor style lifestyle. We created this guide to give us the best opportunity to serve you by getting started in a timely fashion for your desired completion date.  If for instance you are hoping to have something built by Super Bowl Sunday … NOW is the time to call and get the process started!

 

Because Being Outside is Happy

May 28, 2021 Outdoor Living, Patio Design

The Washington Post recently posted an article, “The new American status symbol: A backyard that’s basically a fancy living room,” basically saying stackable plastic chairs and charcoal grills are out…

But loaded, supersize, decked-out deck with an outdoor living room, dining area, 54-inch grill, full kitchen, bar, two-draft kegerator, oversize island, massive weatherproof television, elaborate sound system and semicircular fire lounges are in.

Photo Credit: The Washington Post

What’s not to love? You’ll take all of it? But when? How long will it take? So many questions, right? Knowing when to start building your backyard patio is half the battle and then knowing who to go with is the other battle. Picking out your design, working on the layout, and buying furniture is the fun part!

Texas Custom Patios provides a turnkey custom design project. Our specialty is building projects that look original to the home, including patio covers, pergolas, screened porches, room additions, guest houses, decks, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, and custom patios. We do all the fun stuff too, you know … oversized islands, elaborate sound systems and stunning fire lounges.

Fire features are great, but the most popular way to bring the heat to your outdoor living space is with an outdoor kitchen!

We can customize your outdoor kitchen area to have whatever you want:

  • built in propane or natural gas
  • large or small grill
  • a sideburner
  • refrigerator or wine cooler
  • drawers and cabinets for storage
  • running water
  • ice maker
  • kegerator… the list is endless

After you slice and dice outside, why not have dinner on the patio? Creating space for a dining table is perfect for entertaining family and friends.

Keep the party outside all night long, by adding a lounge space to kick back and watch TV, listen to music or just relax and look at your view!

And when you’re ready to come back inside, seamless transitions from outdoors to indoor are sliding to the top in popularity!

And when you take away the traditional doors and add seamless transitions to your home, it makes your indoor living space feel larger! Taking your holiday decor outside for some fun in the sun is fun, too!

We have all been stuck inside for too long! Everyone is ready to get out and enjoy a backyard get-together, so if you build it, they will come! Because after all, being outside is happy!

To read The Washington Post’s full article click here.

Garden Upgrades in Texas

April 29, 2021 Outdoor Living

After being on lockdown for over a year, most of us are itching to get outside and enjoy some company. Public places will still be covid-conscious for some time to come, so our backyard can be a safe haven for some fun in the meantime.

So how do you enhance your outdoor living space… grow a garden! Plus, gardening just twice a week has proven to enhance your wellbeing and “prune” your stress!

Here’s what’s growing in popularity for 2021 and what’s dead in the water:

Herbs: Basil, catnip/catmint, comfrey, fennel, horseradish, oregano, thyme, rosemary, Mexican mint marigold, peppermint, lemongrass, lemon balm, lemon verbena, bay laurel

Vegetables: Beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, and potato

Fruit: Apples, berries, cherries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, melons and peaches

Flowers: Periwinkle, perunia, phlox, purple fountain grass, purslane, salvia, snapdragon and sweet peas

Plants: Desert Willow, Red Yucca, Mexican Feather Grass and Lantana

Gardens are meant to be consumed and looked at, so creating a little space that is meant for relaxing is key! Comfortable garden sofas, egg chairs and hanging chairs have increased in popularity and are a perfect addition to your growing garden! Or just placing to over-sized chairs together with little tables will make for the perfect place to relax. The goal is to enjoy the fruits of your labor!

A Cozy Outdoor Living Space

December 1, 2020 Outdoor Living

The sweaty summer days are behind us (we think), and cooler days are ahead! So as fast as we have forgotten how hot it can be, most of us will crave a cozy fire, super soft blanket and the feeling that the holidays are here!

Creating a winter wonderland is easy with a few essentials, we hope you keep warm and safe this season!

Tip #1 – Bring the Heat

If you don’t have a built-in fireplace or pit like the picture below, adding some heat to your area can be easy and affordable. Whether it be a propane fire pit, free-standing heater or classic wood burning fire feature, adding warmth is a necessity in keeping comfortable.

Tip #2 – Lighting

You will get a little lighting from the flames in Tip #1, but with the days being shorter through the winter, you’ll need to shed a little light on things. String lights are a great option not only for a source of light, but to create a warm ambiance! Candles also create a cozy setting for relaxing.

Tip #3 – Cozy Seating

The lighting can be just right and very relaxing, but if you’re sitting in something uncomfortable the whole experience can get ruined (just ask Goldilocks). There are so many options when it comes to outdoor furniture, try something that allows for deep seating and plush pillows… something where you can snuggle and sink. For added warmth and decor, include an oversized throw blanket… you’ll never want to go inside.

Tip #4 – Flooring

Whether your patio has nice flooring or not, consider adding an outdoor rug to warm things up and add some style. Today’s outdoor rugs are weather tolerant and come in a wide variety of sizes, colors and patterns. So many choices makes it easy to find a rug that blends with your overall outdoor living style.

If you’re gathered with family or having alone time with a good book, enjoy your surroundings and happy holidays!

The Outdoor Living Wish List

August 29, 2020 Outdoor Living, Promotion

Texas Custom Patios is currently featured in Hearth & Home magazine, we are among several gorgeous projects built across the country. So many different styles and prices, but we have one thing in common… the appreciation for design and a quality build.

When consumers were asked for their outdoor living feature wish list, these were the top contenders:

  • Fire Pits/fireplaces
  • Built-in gas grills
  • Patio heaters
  • Pizza ovens
  • Beverage centers
  • BBQ islands

So as you can see with four of the six items, outdoor kitchens continue to be a hot item! No matter the space you have, creating an outdoor oasis is doable and can increase the value of your home substantially. The foreseeable future forecasts “staycations” as a hot commodity, so the time is now to improve your home!

Our experienced personal project developers will work one-on-one with you to create a custom-designed outdoor kitchen that blends seamlessly with your home’s exterior.

You can choose stone, brick, or stucco finishes; and granite, tile, or concrete counters; but we’ll always use a high-quality framework underneath. We build all outdoor kitchens with tubular steel framing and fiber-cement sheathing to give you a durable, non-expansive, and heat-proof foundation.

For a look at some of our beautiful outdoor kitchens, click here.

Two of our projects were featured in Hearth & Home, both beautiful but very different! The first one beams with wow factor!

The second featured project in the magazine is cozy, quaint, but still says, “wow!” This project is 450 square feet of beautiful outdoor living space in Houston, Texas.

For a more in depth look at our monthly featured projects, click here!

Spring Cleaning Like Never Before

March 30, 2020 Outdoor Living

While Clorox, paper towels, and sanitizers of any sort are hard to come by, it doesn’t mean spring cleaning should get a pass. Getting fresh air is the best thing we can do right now, so sitting on crisp, clean patio is exactly what the doctor ordered! Not to mention, getting 10-30 minutes of vitamin D from the sun can can help keep you healthy and well! So get out and get to cleaning… your health depends on it, wink, wink!

Below are a few recipes for an at-home all-purpose cleaner with ingredients that should be easy to purchase if you don’t already have them!

All-Purpose Cleaner

Needs:

One part white vinegar

One part water

Lemon rind

Rosemary sprigs

Combine the above ingredients together, pour into a spray bottle, shake, and then let infuse for a week before using. Once done, you can use the natural solution to remove hard water stains, clean trash cans, wipe away wall smudges, and much more. Besides a fresh scent, the lemon rind may help boost cleaning power. Caution: Do not use acidic cleaners on granite, as they will etch the stone.

Stone Cleaner

Needs:

2 drops mild dishwashing liquid

2 cups warm water

Mix dishwashing detergent and water the next time you want to clean natural stone countertops. Sponge over marble and rinse completely to remove any soap residue. Buff with a soft cloth; do not let the marble air-dry. Caution: Never use vinegar, lemon, or any other acidic cleaner on marble or granite surfaces; it will eat into the stone.

Grill Cleaner

Before grilling your filet, burger or veggies… it’s important to make sure your grill is ready for you to bring the heat! Take a peek at this grill readiness checklist, click here!

Have a project in mind? We work throughout the Houston and Dallas - Fort Worth areas.

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I love my sun room. Steven was wonderful and made my new room even better than I expected. The whole project went great and everyone that comes over loves my room.

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